Accession Number : ADA420584
Title : Choosing a Moral Framework for the War on Terror
Descriptive Note : Master's thesis
Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIRPOWER STUDIES
Personal Author(s) : Hughes, Johnathan B.
Report Date : JUN 2002
Pagination or Media Count : 91
Abstract : This thesis discusses the two moral frameworks within which the United States can fight the war on terror. Since the war on terror is likely to be long, unlike previous conflicts fought over territory, and global in scale, the United States must mobilize and sustain domestic, international, and media support if it is to succeed, Operating within an accepted moral framework is the best way to achieve the necessary support. Criminal justice and just war are the two moral frameworks. The criminal justice framework denies terrorist groups all legitimacy, but has serious drawbacks in that it is designed specifically to protect the rights of those whom the government intends to prosecute. The just war framework allows all instruments of national power to be used against the enemy, but has serious drawbacks in that treating terrorists as legitimate combatants may encourage their behavior and allow them to seek overt support. Comparing terrorist groups to criminal organizations and to states shows that terrorist groups resemble states, in that their motivation is political rather than pecuniary. Further, a look at real-world examples of granting insurgents and terrorists political legitimacy reveals the inherent dangers of the process. It concludes that, when terrorist groups meet certain criteria, fighting the war on terror under the just war framework will not only allow the United States to bring its full resources to bear, but encourage the necessary domestic, international, and media support necessary to fight a protracted war.
Descriptors : *TERRORISTS, *WARFARE, *TERRORISM, UNITED STATES, ORGANIZATIONS, THESES, POWER, MOTIVATION, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, CRIMINOLOGY, INSURGENCY, HOMELAND SECURITY.
Subject Categories : UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE